As popular games increasingly trend more towards a free-to-play model, concerns over cheating have also bobbed to the surface, especially in competitive shooters. Riot’s popular shooter Valorant is no exception, and a new blog post from the game’s anti-cheat lead gives some new details about the Vanguard system, which protects its legion of players from the aspiring wallhackers of the world.
The blog post says that player reports are still the most potent weapon in Riot’s arsenal, with Vanguard automatically banning players that are clearly using third-party software, and giving oft-reported players an ominous-sounding “higher intensity game integrity scan” to weed out careful cheaters. Riot also employs a manual review process against the most suspicious players, particularly those using cheats that haven’t necessarily been detected yet by Vanguard. The post also suggests that Riot uses the number of overall reports as a benchmark for the competitive health of Valorant–if there are a lot of reports, people aren’t happy with the game, and something needs fixing.
The blog ends on some interesting data points: for example, 97% of Valorant players never receive a single report, and only 0.3% have received 3 or more reports. The numbers also suggest that reports aren’t always the best indicator of whether or not a player is truly cheating: only 53% of banned cheaters were reported before their ban. Truly, the cheaters walk among us, hiding in plain sight.
Valorant recently released its Act 2 patch, which added a new agent to the game, as well as a deathmatch mode. Its most recent patch nerfed the game’s shotguns, making them less accurate while fired in the air. The Vanguard anti-cheat system was regarded with skepticism by many players at the game’s launch due to the fact that it starts when your computer boots and must run in the background while you play.
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